Do Hedgehogs Have Good Eyesight?

Everyone wants hedgehogs as their pets. However, with pet hedgehogs, it’s necessary to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

Chances are you’re keeping these pets around so you can love and care for them. Thus, to take proper care of them, you need to know what they can do and what they can’t.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so many wonder about their eyesight and how it contributes to their existence and survival. We’ll discuss if hedgehogs have good eyesight and how it may help them today.

Do Hedgehogs Have Good Eyesight?

The simple answer is that they do not have good eyesight. It may seem shocking to many that they don’t have good eyesight since they’re nocturnal animals who forage for food in the dark.

But hedgehogs are lacking in their vision, and especially if your compare that to the kind of vision humans have, you would find that their visible range is limited to outline and a less evolved depth perception.

They can’t even correctly see color. Hedgehogs can only see in shades of cream and brown, so they don’t have the most gifted eyesight, but it still serves them as well as it must.

Why Don’t Hedgehogs Have Good Eyesight?

Well, hedgehogs don’t need good eyesight as they have other senses that are much more evolved.

All animals need food, and hedgehogs always look for food like berries and insects to satiate their hunger.

Instead of using their eyes, we see hedgehogs that will use their ears to inform themselves of any essential sounds.

Important sounds are categorized into two significant options, i.e., the sounds of the predator or the prey.

Their hearing will thus make up for the lack of depth in their eyesight.

Thus, hedgehogs are capable of finding their way to food and, at the same time, remaining away from any potential danger.

They’re not very good at hearing lower-pitched sounds as well as humans, but their upper limit is much more refined than humans.

Are Hedgehogs Blind?

People are also often curious about hedgehogs and if they’re blind. They’re not blind, even if they have poor vision. But it’s not a worry since they have super-evolved hearing.

However, not all hedgehogs are the same. Some hedgehogs may be blind due to disease or any other condition. However, in general, hedgehogs are capable of seeing.

Even if your hedgehogs are blind, this won’t be a significant hindrance since they have other evolved features.

What you can do is find better ways to signify to them that you’re present if they are a pet of yours.

You can find ways to notify them when you’re feeding them or offer them help so they can communicate with you. Hedgehogs may be blind, but they’re also smart.

Can Hedgehogs See Color?

They can see some color, but mostly different shades of cream and brown.

They don’t have photoreceptors quite as varied as the human eye, but they may still be able to detect any significant environmental changes due to their eyes.

They have dichromatic vision, which means they’re capable of only maybe seeing two major colors and finding their way around through that.

Humans have three types of cones, but animals with dichromatic visions will only have two, so they can see colors only in shades.

The best thing about hedgehogs is that they don’t require full use of their cones since they’re nocturnal animals and must get out only at night.

Ways to Take Care of Your Hedgehog’s Vision

  • Take them out in the sun for a little while
  • Don’t let them be out for too long
  • Let them run around the garden but only in shaded areas
  • Make sure that their cage is spacious so that they have enough space to run around

How Do Hedgehogs Function Without Sight?

Humans are very dependent on their sense of sight which is why it’s such a handicap to them when they lose it, but hedgehogs are different.

You would find that they function pretty well without sight and can rely on other senses. The two significant ways they get around are using their hearing and sense of smell.

Hearing

Hedgehogs have a powerful sense of hearing, so they can distinguish whether they’re in danger or have prey they can feast on nearby.

The hearing has a broader range, which hedgehogs rely on consistently. They have many mechanisms in place to ensure that they remain safe.

If they hear a loud sound with a high frequency that they’re not used to hearing, then their first instinct is to duck and hide away from that sound.

They will generally find a safe place and lay low until that sound passes.

Another instinct they have is to roll themselves into a complete ball so that nothing can penetrate them when they are afraid.

Similarly, if they know where the sound is coming from and what it is, they will become exceptionally still and respond to the sound instead of reacting to it.

They also make sounds of their own because they have spines, but they will treat it like background noise more than anything.

Smell

Besides hearing, hedgehogs have a highly evolved nose that helps them pick up on sharp environmental changes.

They will use their noses to sniff out any danger, including more giant intruders or hedgehogs nearby. Hedgehogs are solitary animals, meaning they don’t prefer to hang out in groups.

If they sense that another hedgehog is nearby, they will duck and leave that space or go into fight mode to assert dominance on their territory.

Fighting for dominance is generally expected in male hedgehogs.

It’s also awe-inspiring that they can pick up on the presence of prey in the soil even if they’re an inch deep into the space.

Hence these animals can dig their way to their food. They also eat foliage, meaning they have many ways to sustain themselves in the wild.

If your pet hedgehog accidentally runs away, you don’t have to worry about the food it may be having.

Touch

Their noses are for sniffing out danger, but they’re also used to touching different objects in their surroundings to get an idea of where they are.

Any animal needs spatial awareness to feel comfortable walking and moving around. Hedgehogs will use their nose to do so.

They also use their whiskers to assess a space better. The whiskers are also extremely useful because they don’t have to have good eyesight.

Instead, they can understand their surroundings using other sense organs.

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs do not have good eyesight. Their eyesight is minimal.

However, hedgehogs don’t need this eyesight for survival, and they have other mechanisms in place that allow them to look out for prey and predators to remain safe on their own.

They’re nocturnal animals; thus, any sight they witness is more of an addition than a necessity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it common for hedgehogs to lose their eyes?

No, it is not common for hedgehogs to lose their eyes. Hedgehogs have small and protected eyes, and eye injuries or loss can occur due to accidents, infections, or other health issues.

However, with proper care, most hedgehogs can maintain healthy eyes throughout their life.

Do Hedgehogs sleep with their eyes open?

No, hedgehogs do not typically sleep with their eyes open. They have the ability to close their eyes and enter into a deep sleep, just like most other animals.

However, they do have a protective mechanism where they can partially open their eyes while sleeping to monitor their surroundings for potential threats.

Do Hedgehogs eyes glow in the dark?

Yes, hedgehogs have reflective eyes that glow in the dark due to a layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum behind their retina. This helps them see better in low-light conditions.

What is the hearing range of a Hedgehog?

The hearing range of a hedgehog is around 20 Hz to 45 kHz.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment